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Source: Economic Times

“Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has discussed his country’s media policy and the bill with Prime Minister Narendra Modi during their conversation.

The conversation was held in the backdrop of the Morrison government’s negotiation with tech giants Facebook and Google, which led to temporary suspension of many Australian accounts on social media platforms on Thursday.

“As Comprehensive Strategic Partners, we can work together on common challenges including COVID-19, the circular economy, oceans and an open, secure and prosperous Indo-Pacific. We also discussed the progress of our media platform Bill,” Morrison tweeted following phone call.

Sources from Australia indicated to ET that Morrison proposed to Modi a coalition on the matter of tech giants. There were no comments from the Indian side on the matter.

Australian Finance Minister has also proposed same with his Canadian counterpart.

But it is not just about India and Canada, Australia will try to build partnerships on the issue with other countries as well.

According to the News Media and Digital Platforms Mandatory Bargaining Code Bill 2020, big tech and social media giants like Facebook and Google will have to pay local news outlets for using their content.

Morrison has repeatedly said that his government will not be browbeaten by the power of the social media giants who have been resisting the rule, saying it runs against the fundamental principle of free movement of information online. On Thursday, many Australian entities and individuals were blocked on Facebook, a move described as “unfriending” by the social media giant.

“”People are looking at what Australia is doing,”” Morrison said, revealing that he has already discussed the law with PM Modi and Trudeau. Morrison also called Facebook’s move “”arrogant”” and “”disappointing”” and called on the American social media behemoth to revoke it.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has reportedly agreed to talks between company representatives and Australian government officials over the weekend.

Despite earlier threats to pull its search from Australia over the legislation, Google has softened its stance and instead brokered several deals with large media companies, including Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.”